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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Jet Blue Park is absolutely incredible

    Mar 7, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Jet Blue Park

    FORT MYERS — I have seen the future of spring training complexes, and its name is Jet Blue Park. Or maybe it’s not the future, because frankly, I’m not sure who else is going to shell out the kind of dough this place likely cost besides big money teams like the Red Sox (or the…

  2. “Super Manny” Ramirez still thinks he can play

    Mar 7, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT

    BASEBALL-TPE-US-RAMIREZ

    A friend of mine once said that this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic mother[expletives]. Mother[expletives] who thought their [expletive] would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don’t. Exhibit A, Manny Ramirez, who said this to Enrique Rojas of…

  3. Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit

    Mar 7, 2014, 9:42 AM EDT

    Ortiz spit

    Just about every ballpark you go to plays that Blake Shelton song, “Boys ’round here” during warmups or batting practice: Yeah the boys ’round here Drinking that ice cold beer Talkin’ ’bout girls, talkin’ ’bout trucks Runnin’ them red dirt roads out, kicking up dust The boys ’round here Sending up a prayer to the…

  4. CC Sabathia is learning a cutter

    Mar 7, 2014, 8:49 AM EDT

    sabathia september

    CC Sabathia has a new trick in his bag: Andy Pettitte did more than simply watch CC Sabathia‘s bullpen session on Monday. The guest instructor actively instructed, primarily helping to teach Sabathia a cut fastball, something the Yankees’ ace hopes to add to his repertoire this season. “He was showing me a grip with the…

  5. The Braves are bringing a sufficient number of major leaguers to Fort Myers today

    Mar 7, 2014, 8:12 AM EDT

    Old Bus

    FORT MYERS — A day after we learned of the stink the Marlins are raising about the Red Sox not bringing a sufficient number of major leaguers on their long road trip to Jupiter, the Braves are traveling here to Fort Myers to face Boston. Here’s who is making the trip: #Braves travel roster for…

  6. Hank the Dog has a home

    Mar 7, 2014, 7:25 AM EDT

    Hank the Dog

    You’ve probably read about Hank the Dog, the Brewers’ unexpected spring training mascot who showed up as a stray at their camp in Maryvale. He’s been a big hit with the team and its fans, even racing in the sausage races last week while wearing a hot dog costume which, holy crap, is the cutest…

  7. Albert Pujols was insulted when someone asked him if he can put up Mike Trout numbers

    Mar 6, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT

    albert pujols getty

    Bob Nightengale spoke with Albert Pujols and Pujols mentioned a question someone asked him early in spring training. The question: “are you motivated to put up the same numbers as Mike Trout?” Pujols, remembering it and obviously still mad, went off: “Can you imagine someone saying that to me?” Pujols tells USA TODAY Sports in…

  8. Clint Hurdle is all out of bubblegum

    Mar 6, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Clint Hurdle

    BRADENTON — It’s raining harder now, and someone just told me that they’ve issued a tornado watch for the area. Yet they still haven’t banged the game. Crazy, but it’s their ballpark. They can do what they want. The Pirates did, however, open their clubhouse to the media at 11am, maybe because everyone knows that…

  9. McKechnie Field and imminent gentrification

    Mar 6, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

    McKechnie Field

    BRADENTON — It stinks that there’s probably not going to be baseball here today, because this park is pretty sweet: I love McKechnie Field. It’s old, and despite recent renovations, it still has that old-timey feel. And of course the renovations make it more comfortable. And the food here is great. Just a wonderful park.…

  10. There ain’t gonna be no baseball in Bradenton today

    Mar 6, 2014, 9:38 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 9.15.34 AM

    BRADENTON — I thought the day was going to go better than this. I woke up and, magically, the R key on my keyboard was working again and all was right with the world. Then I saw this:   That little marker is where I’m sitting in McKechnie Field right now and that stuff to…

  11. Cole Hamels suffers a setback

    Mar 6, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    cole hamels getty

    Not good news for the Phillies: Cole Hamels suffers setback. Said he is fatigued. No pain in shoulder. But obviously not good news. Wouldn’t say if he could pitch in April. — Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 6, 2014 He was set to throw live batting practice, but now there isn’t a timetable. It’s already going…

  12. Minor leaguers suing over unfair labor practices amend their lawsuit

    Mar 6, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    lawsuit gavel

    Remember that lawsuit filed by three minor leaguers against Major League Baseball a couple of weeks ago? It was amended yesterday, with many more teams added as defendants, many more players added as plaintiffs, and a couple of new counts added as well. Multiple new minor leaguers are now signed on as plaintiffs, and the teams…

  13. Leftover bits of the Phillies in Clearwater

    Mar 6, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 10.55.25 PM

    I wish I was joking when I say that I spilled water on my keyboard yesterday and now the “r” key on it doesn’t work anymore. But that’s what happened. I’m putting them in via CTRL-V, which makes everything a lot slower. It’s pretty nuts, actually. Weirdest part? When I type the letter “i” it…

  14. No, Ian Kinsler, you were not taken out of context

    Mar 5, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Ian Kinsler Tigers Getty

    It’s laughable that Ian Kinsler said that his disparaging comments about Jon Daniels and the Rangers — in which he called Daniels a “sleazeball” — were “kind of taken out of context.” I mean, if just doesn’t make sense because there’s no context in which “sleazeball” really looks good. But if you’re inclined to give…

  15. Braves, Phillies honor the late Jim Fregosi

    Mar 5, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

    Jim Fregosi

    CLEARWATER — There was a moving ceremony before today’s Braves-Phillies game honoring the late Jim Fregosi. Fregosi, the former Phillies manager and a long-time scout and executive with the Braves, died last month following a stroke. Today, however, was a day of fond and often funny remembrance, with Phillies and Braves officials remembering a loud,…

  16. Talkin’ to Gene Garber about weird windups and reliever usage

    Mar 5, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Gene Garber

    CLEARWATER — I have avoided Chris Farley moments here, but I almost went fanboy on this guy a little while ago: That’s Gene Garber, former Braves (and Phillies and Royals and Pirates) reliever. He’s a Braves spring training instructor these days, and he had some time to talk to me this morning as the Braves…

  17. The politics of “The Cardinal Way”

    Mar 5, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

    cardinals logo tall

    I feel like the inner workings of Cardinals politics are really complicated. Two stories from the Post-Dispatch in the past couple of days:     I think Bernie Miklasz is one of the best around, but I’m with McClellan on this one. Especially with this: I don’t remember hearing much about the Cardinal Way until…

  18. David Ortiz offers the highest praise for Derek Jeter

    Mar 5, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

    World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Four

    David Ortiz told MLB Network Radio that he’s going to miss Derek Jeter when he’s gone: “If there’s one guy that the baseball game is gonna miss once he’s retired, it’s Derek . . . He is one of the baseball players that I can tell you that pretty much his whole career has done everything perfectly…

  19. I have a lot of time to kill at Bright House Field today

    Mar 5, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Bright House Field

    CLEARWATER — As is my usual routine, I got to Bright House Field for today’s Phillies-Braves game at 8AM, which is when the home team’s clubhouse is usually open for media. Except today the Phillies’ clubhouse isn’t open. This happens sometimes. Lots of reasons, be it meetings, guest speakers from the league or the MLBPA…

  20. Reporter calls Ian Kinsler as self-absorbed as A-Rod

    Mar 5, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

    Ian Kinsler Tigers Getty

    Wow, that escalated quickly. Ian Kinsler certainly stepped in it yesterday, but it’s nor more of a faux pas than you see a handful of times a year. A guy talking smack about his old team and old boss. It happens and it usually blows over pretty quickly. But Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning…

  21. Great Moments in Defensive Shifts: Washington Nationals Edition

    Mar 4, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

    Nats Shift

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — This morning I reported that Nationals manager Matt Williams sounded receptive to defensive shifts. I wonder if I put an idea in his head, because he made a doozy of one today.  This was what the Nats’ infield looked like in the eighth inning today with the game tied, one out…

  22. Bobby Cox, Bryce Harper and the Braves Philharmonic

    Mar 4, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

    Helmets

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — I’ve done a good job so far today not cheering in the press box. Kris Medlen struck a dude out looking. Evan Gattis just thew out a would-be base stealer. Both of those things are usually worth at least a fist-pump from me when watching a game but I’ve been totally…

  23. Josh Hamilton loves having company in the Texas Rangers’ doghouse

    Mar 4, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    josh hamilton getty

    After Ian Kinsler’s unfortunate interview went public this morning, another former Ranger reached out to him: Not any fun being in the Texas doghouse, is it @IKinsler3? — Josh Hamilton (@thejoshhamilton) March 4, 2014   Hamilton, you’ll recall, drew the ire of Rangers fans after he said Dallas is not a baseball town. He was right…

  24. Matt Williams: pro-stats, pro-eyes, pro-everything

    Mar 4, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT

    Matt Williams

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — I’ll post some pictures and random thoughts about the Braves’ complex a little later, but for now let’s talk about Matt Williams. Williams was a bit of an unknown quantity to most fans when he was hired as the Nats’ manager. One obviously knows of his playing career and one knows…

  25. Roger Clemens to be a big part of the Derek Jeter goodbye in Houston

    Mar 4, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Roger Clemens

    The Yankees’ first series this year is in Houston, and it’ll be the Yankees’ only trip to Houston, so it’ll be the first stop on the Derek Jeter farewell tour. And an old friend of Jeter’s will be playing a big part in the festivities: The first stop on the Derek Jeter Long Goodbye Tour…

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